When the first “Red Dead Redemption” was released in 2010, it became an instant classic. The game had a vast open world with many different activities to keep players entertained for hours on end. It was also one of the very first games to be powered by Rockstar’s proprietary RAGE engine, which would later power all future installments in the series.
The watch pokémon secrets of the jungle online is a continuation of the franchise, following Ash Ketchum and his friends from the original series. It follows them as they travel through a colorful world, encountering new friends and foes along the way.
The Pokémon universe encompasses a wide range of media. The anime series and its associated films are the franchise’s main sources, with video games following in second. On December 25, 2020, Japanese moviegoers got the opportunity to watch the Gekij-ban Pokettomonsut Koko film in theaters; the film had been planned for an earlier release in the West but had been postponed due to the pandemic. We eventually got to watch the movie, promoted as Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle, on October 8, 2021, courtesy to Netflix.
After Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution, the CGI remake of the original Pokémon film, Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle was released, marking the series’ return to conventional 2D animation. Despite the fact that it followed Ash on a fresh journey, this film was not part of the main narrative continuity, but rather an alternate chronology that started with Generation VII and offered us a new perspective on previous events.
The storyline of the film is unique to the series, but there are many recurrent narrative themes that have appeared in previous Pokémon films. What really astounded us was how the film managed to combine real-life aspects of climate and environmental endangerment, which are a recurrent subject in the film, with the world of Pokémon, which is unaffected by these problems.
The villains in this film seem to be both big companies that benefit from deforestation of the Amazon rainforest and lowlife poachers that threaten wildlife in Africa. Okay, the problem isn’t huge, but the threat to the Zarude environment and the Great Tree seems to have some similarity to real-world problems.
A lot of the plot is based on Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, a popular children’s book about a human child named Mowgli who is taken in by a pack of wolves and later explores the jungle with a black panther named Bagheera and a bear named Baloo, all while avoiding being killed by Shere Khan, a tiger with a grudge against humans. Does this ring a bell?
Sure, Secrets of the Jungle doesn’t feature any Shere Khan characters, but the humans headed by Dr. Zed are the main villains in the film, and they’re seeking the Great Tree and, with it, Koko, who is a Mowgli-like character.
In terms of Koko and his Zarude, they had a fantastic relationship, especially considering that Zarude is a generally violent, aggressive, and territorial Pokémon who doesn’t like strangers; this is also evidenced by how Koko’s Zarude is perceived by his own pack – and don’t forget, Zarude stick together no matter what – for being different.
Despite this, Koko’s Zarude went against his instincts to defend a human kid, forming an almost unbreakable connection with him that was easily one of the film’s highlights.
The growth of Koko’s character is another highlight. Okay, there’s a lot there that was inspired by Mowgli’s story, but it’s not really typical of the Pokémon franchise to go into such depths, especially when you consider the early films, which were mostly about saving the world and incorporating Legendary and Mythical Pokémon into the animated franchise.
Koko believes himself a Pokémon, despite the fact that he looks nothing like Zarude and is quite similar to Ash, and Secrets of the Jungle has a very deep character arc that is not only about growth, but also about recognizing our own humanity. One of the most beautiful scenes in the film was the ultimate reconciliation of his two natures, that of a Pokémon nurtured by Zarude and that of a human.
In terms of the other characters, we can only state that Ash is still only ten years old, as has been the case from the anime’s inception. Without any significant modifications to his demeanor, Ash was depicted just how you’d expect him to be: an idealistic nice man willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of others or the greater good. Team Rocket also makes an appearance, and in the end, they prove to be the unexpected heroes of the story, which is a fantastic surprise.
In terms of aesthetics, we finally see the series return to its original 2D animation, albeit one that is updated and in line with current Japanese animation trends. The face is much more colorful, comparable to Pokémon 4Ever – Celebi: Voice of the Forest, and we’re not making this connection by mistake (wait till the conclusion of the movie), as the nature-based environment of the movie allowed for a lot more imaginative production design.
The forest, the Great Tree, and the overall idea were all fantastic, particularly with Zed’s spider-like tank serving as a contrast. Although this is not a totally new concept in cinema and animation, it is new territory for the Pokémon brand, and we must acknowledge that the authors did an excellent job of integrating these problems into such a picture.
Overall, the animation and style were excellent, and while not completely original, they were refreshing for the Pokémon franchise and added something new to the overall concept, which is especially noteworthy given that Secrets of the Jungle is the 23rd film in the series, and it is not always easy to stay fresh after 23 films.
There was also enough comedy in the film to keep us amused, both in terms of Team Rocket (who are usually amusing) and the Pokémon, particularly Ash’s encounter with Cramorant (as if Cramorant isn’t funny enough without any other characters). Other forest-based Pokémon, like as Skwovet, helped to strengthen the movie’s creature cast, which proved to be crucial in the end.
Secrets of the Jungle is a bright and lively reimagining of the series. It has introduced many new features to the world of Pokémon while maintaining the aspects of the franchise that we like. It extended the universe and introduced new characters, and although it is not part of the main narrative canon, it is nonetheless a lovely addition to the series.
Secrets of the Jungle will be accessible on Netflix on October 8, 2021, almost a year after its Japanese theatrical release in 2020. The wait was well worth it, and we heartily recommend this film to all Pokémon fans as one of the franchise’s best cinematic entries.
It doesn’t quite match up to some of the older works (particularly those involving Mewtwo, the franchise’s most complex Pokémon), but it gets close, which is why we gave it such a high grade and a favorable review in the end.